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Thinking about next time...

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

Hi I'm new to mothering-- this is my first post! I have a darling two-month-old baby boy. I wouldn't say his birth was completely "traumatic" but it was very long (about 44 hours) and I had to transfer from a birth center to the hospital for "failure to progress" and eventually got an epidural there so that I could rest. The entire labor was painful. I never experienced light contractions, in fact, the 3rd or 4th contraction I had brought me to my knees in the shower. (That's about when I figured I was really in labor.) Pushing was extremely difficult as I had to be on my back thanks to the epidural. However, breastfeeding was very easy. My boy came out hungry and nursed like a pro. 


So now for some reason I keep thinking about the next birth. I want to get pregnant again maybe next year or even by the end of this year. Part of me wants to try for the 100% natural birth center waterbirth I had wanted before but another part of me thinks I should use the midwife practice at the hospital and just see what happens. (This hospital is really awesome as far as hospitals go. My experience there was fantastic.) Have any of you had similar situations? Am I crazy to want another one so soon?

post #2 of 9

hi, there I can totally relate to your labor & delivery experience. I too labored at home for nearly 48 hours and ended up having to transport to a hospital because my baby's head was caught up on my pubic bone. I ended up being able to deliver her naturally with no medication but had to have an episiotomy & the dr used vacuum suction to help her out. I am still so bummed at how badly things went for us. She is now 10 months old and I am about ready to try for #2!! I am SO torn on where to plan my deliver, hospital or home again. And this is my reason for being on this site to try and find my answer and my way :)   If you have the option of midwife in a hospital wing, that sound IDEAL to me!! I would do that without a doubt. Unfortunately I do not have that option in my city. But it seems like a win, win situation. Get to have your natural birth but in the chance of an emergency you are already there! After what I experienced I know realize how REAL emergencies can be and how quickly things can go terribly wrong. Though I am still uncertain as of now I think it is not a risk I am willing to take again. Best of luck to you and your decision. And congrats on you little boy xoxo

post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 

Yeah I am thinking more and more that I would go to the hospital with the midwives. We are planning to move away from this area after DH finishes his PhD so I would be under pressure to have another one before we leave, which would be in about 2 years. I think I am going with the hospital because I had such a good experience there and knowing that in case of emergency it's so much easier and safer not to have to transfer. I think you are right about how quickly things can go wrong. And while the idea of homebirth seems great, it's just not a risk I'd be willing to take for my family if a safe and trustworthy alternative exists.


By the way, are you planning to continue breastfeeding (assuming you are now) during pregnancy? Are you worried about managing a small one and a new babe? These are things I'm thinking about myself.

post #4 of 9

I had an *identical* experience.  I was in labor for 27 hours and had only dilated from 3-8 (started at 3 several days earlier).  After doing everything possible at the free standing birth center, I transferred to the hospital to get an epidural and sleep.  I slept 6 hours and started pushing when I woke up.  I delivered my daughter vaginally after 2 hours of pushing on my back due to the epidural. 


I worked SO hard to avoid the hospital, and as it turned out, the hospital experience was GREAT! No one gave us a hard time with our parenting choices (no vax, no nursery, no paci/formula), and every person we met was amazingly supportive.  


After our birth, I started thinking that next time I ought to just start out at the hospital - after all, it was a great experience. I spoke to my midwife about it (she delivered my daughter because she has privileges at that hospital) and here is what she told me:  the hospital is really great at what hospitals do.  In my case, I NEEDED the hospital intervention to help my labor along by letting me rest. So the hospital staff knew how to handle that.  They knew how to get me hooked up to an epidural, an iv, and pitocin and be sensitive to my particular circumstances. But they would not have been so friendly and supportive about a 27 hour unmedicated labor (which is what I had at the birthcenter).  She recommended that we do the same thing next time - start at the birth center and transfer if needed.  After looking at it from this perspective, I definitely agree and we will be doing exactly that next time.  DD is 12 months and I am ready to get pregnant pretty much any time - AF isn't back yet though, so I don't think I will be able to for some time yet.  I still nurse all night long, and I doubt my fertility will return until I nightwean.  

post #5 of 9

hi mommas, seems like all three of us have quite a bit in common :)  1st time mama, I am right with you. My daughter will be one early june and all I can think about is the next baby, but no AF yet either. DD still wakes about twice a night to nurse and I too have heard that it is the night nursings for some reason, that keep AF away. 

DH teases me about beings so obsessed with the next labor and delivery and what I hope for because we aren't even pregnant yet lol 

But I had such an unpleasant birth experience that I just want to be read up and full of knowledge to prepare for the next one. And of course am praying we have a better experience 2nd time around. I am still torn on whether to plan a hb again with a new midwife who I think will be amazing or use a NCB friendly OB who I hear NOTHING BUT wonderful things about. I meet with her next month for an annual and plan on visiting with her then about my options for a "as close to natural" as possible birth in hospital. But 1st time mama, your mw had a VERY good point about the hospital not tolerating long labors. So I will either hb or stay home until I can no longer keep it together through contractions and head to the hospital then :)


1st time mama- so you're no doubt home birthing again? Do you worry about exhaustion? I labored close to 48 hours including early labor and active labor lasted about 7 hours and pushing a few hours of those 7. I really worry about exhaustion but you can only hope the 2nd time around is shorter and easier like it is "suppose" to be.


ZakareyasMama- your situation is SO similar to mine. Labored about the same length of time only I transferred for asynclitic positioning of the baby, she was stuck & NOT coming out after hours of pushing. It was painful and I can't say I enjoyed a SINGLE thing about the home birth experience. Maybe if I had been able to push her out at home and then already be home and shower in my own bathroom, rest in my own bed etc. it would have had a different feel. But my experience was that the hospital staff was FAR more supportive and attentive to my needs than the two midwives I had. I felt safer at the hospital and that is ultimately where I "got it done"  (still ended up pushing her out unmedicated, vaginally)   Anyway, Have you decided what you'll do next time??

Part of me thinks 2nd time is SUPPOSE to be shorter, easier, more familiar etc. I should try for the home birth I originally wanted, like you said about your water birth wishes. But then like you, I too am not sure it is a risk I am willing to take. Especially since now it isn't just me I need to think about but also my little girl. Since my experience I have read and come across so many hb moms who were in serious trouble and I've become very aware of all the million things that could go terribly wrong which could require immediate medical intervention, technology or medicine. So I am currently leaning towards NCB friendly OB in a hospital. BUT I do realize and acknowledge that HAD I been in a hospital I would have definitely been given a c section! Pushing for 2+ hours, they would have never allowed that. So I guess if I do go hospital route this time, I won't go to the hospital until contractions are unbearable :) then hopefully I will already be in active labor and not be there long lol :)   What about you, any knew thoughts?


post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 

The more I talk to people the more I hear about stories like ours... I think it's hard bc before your first labor you have you heart set on labor being a certain way (ie at home, "natural," peaceful) and then if it doesn't go that way then you feel like you did something wrong. At the same time, you don't want pregnant women to just hear about the stuff that can go wrong... you'd want them to believe that "natural" is possible. Does that make sense? (I still haven't finished my morning coffee) 


I would very much like to get pregnant again now. There are a lot of reasons. First, I want my kids to be very close. I was an only child and pretty lonely growing up. So I want my kids to have that. Also we live in a really great place with so many options for prenatal care and birth and we have a great Muslim community here that's so supportive (last time my fridge was overflowing with food people brought!!) DH will be finishing up his degree in the next couple of years and it's likely we would move to a new place, so I'd love to have another DC before we leave bc who knows what things would be like wherever we end up.


Of course DS still nurses like crazy... I'm not really hopeful that I'll get pg now. Maybe after he starts on solids at 6 mo or so. He's already teething so... eat.gif lol  


Right now I feel like I will go to a hospital. I have the awesome option here to have a midwife who practices in the hospital. And the hospital is certified as 'baby friendly' Rooming-in is the norm and the mom actually has to sign a waiver for the baby to be given a bottle or paci. I think the whole nursing staff is trained in lactation and they have lac consultants come to the room right away. If anything goes wrong (like the meconium DS had) the NICU team comes to the room and does there work there instead of taking the baby away. For me, I would never consider a home birth because of what happened with my first. I don't feel like I could get comfortable enough in my home knowing that if something went wrong I'd need to call 911 or get into the car and go to a hospital. And honestly I felt very comfortable in the hospital! I never imagined that I would.


I would labor at home for a while like you said, with a doula (or two haha) and then go to the hospital. I HOPE my labor isn't as weird as last time. With DS I never had easy contractions and they would ramp up and get really intense and close together and then spread out. I felt like a skipping track on a record.


I think pushing (at least) is supposed to be shorter the second time. I did get a little pressure from the NICU team when I had been pushing for 2 hours. But the nurse kept putting them off. I know of another woman (she pushed for 11 hours in the same hospital) whose nurse and home birth midwife blocked the door on the anestiseologist (I can't spell that) who was trying to prep her for a c/s. Another friend (who actually was my doula) had a c/s at that hospital bc of transverse breech. They let her do skin-to-skin IN the OR. I think the hospital can be a great place as long as you have good support and the hospital is generally known to be supportive of natural birth and baby-friendly. 


Also make sure that your OB is NCB friendly AND that all of the other OBs she works with are too. You don't want to get stuck with the one jerk on their on-call schedule who doesn't have any patience!

post #7 of 9

Hi ladies! My DS is almost 4 months old and such a wonderful blessing. BUT thinking of his birth still makes me shudder a bit, although a very different experience from yours. I labored at home in the tub, and  it was VERY fast (hard for about 3 hours up to 10 cm) and amazing - exactly what I'd hoped for. But then I started pushing... 4 hours later I let my midwife cut me... we still could only get him to barely crowning and although he did not seem stuck on anything, my tissues were just not stretching and we had tried everything. So we transfered, and the hospital experience was dreadful. They literally stripped my clothes off, threw me on the OR table, and held me down with gas anesthesia on my face while the ripped my baby out with forceps, giving me a 4th degree tear - even though my baby's heart sounded great the whole time before and after we got to the hospital. I was treated like I had no prenatal care, although I had a wonderful midwife and perfect pregnancy - they wouldn't even look at my chart which she brought, or acknowledge her presence. Then they stole my placenta and plunked it in formalin directly against my expressed wishes.I was there less than 24 hours and my midwife came and took care of me at home. Thank God for her.  Anyway, I am posting here to see all your thoughts about "next time". Although I want my kids fairly close together, I am not in any way emotionally or physically (we've only had sex twice, and it's painful..) ready to get pregnant again. But I still can't stop thinking about what I will do next time. I would love to repeat the labor experience I had at home, but my midwife said she has never seen the opening just NOT stretch like that, so I am afraid of not being able to deliver again. And if we have to transfer, I need to somehow make sure I am not treated the same way - it was unbearable. The hospitals here are NOT midwife or NCB friendly. 

post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 

Yikes! That does sound awful! Have you done any research into your body's reaction to labor? I know there are some theories that psychological barriers can prevent cervixes and things from opening, but I wonder if there aren't sometimes physical reasons as well. If I were you I'd do some reading and start looking for a good midwife or doctor. (There ARE great doctors out there...) I am fortunate to live in an area in which some midwifes have permission to practice IN the hospital. Although my midwife was from the birth center, she stayed with me at the hospital and caught my baby and eventually discharged me. (Though the hospital's doctors cared for my son.) Are there any midwives practicing in hospitals in your area? To me I think that's the best of both worlds and I'll definitely want to use them for next time. I have heard about horrible experiences where the hospital has no cooperation with the midwife at all and it's a real shame. I think that perhaps if you weren't seen as an "emergency" you may not have been treated in such a horrible way at the hospital. But maybe that hospital (or the doctor you happened to get) is just horrible!

I hope your body is healing! I didn't have any tearing and sex isn't painful, but I still don't have must interest... must be the hormones! jumpers.gif


(P.S. 2/14 was DS's due date!)

post #9 of 9

Thank you so much for sharing your experience. I am so sorry to hear about how the hospital treated you. I have a friend in another city who recently tried for NB, labored at home with a doula, and then once at the hospital (her supportive OB was not on call of course) was belittled and bullied into accepting an epidural and pitocin. She might have opted for them anyway, but I think it would have mattered to her if it was an empowered choice. I've had friends with very positive home births in my city and I'd like to opt for that, but I'm concerned about being treated badly upon transfer. OSUVet, I'm also in Columbus and would guess (from your username) that I'd end up at the same hospital, and was wondering if you or anyone else has ever notified the hospital or spoke to the doctor about how roughly they treated you. I feel like grilling them myself.  This sounds unconscionable. Homebirths are on the rise, transfers are going to happen more often, and hospitals need to be prepared to act with respect. But how can they when they don't respect even the women who plan to come to them? I'm so glad you shared your story, it is so helpful for me to know what work there is left to be done to support women going through difficult labor with compassion and respect.

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